Former Met Police chief Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe, to sit in the House of Lords

Martin Evans
Lord Hogan-Howe will sit on the crossbenches - PA

Former Metropolitan Police commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe, who oversaw the disastrous VIP child abuse investigation, has been elevated to the House of Lords, it has been announced.

Lord Hogan-Howe was made a life peer and will sit as a crossbencher in the House of Lords, Downing Street announced.

He retired as the head of Britain's biggest police force earlier this year, after five and a half years in the post.

He took over as Britain's most senior police officer in the wake of the London riots, and the following summer oversaw the successful policing of the 2012 London Olympics.

But his time in post will be remembered by many for his controversial handling of the Met's flawed Operation Midland investigation into an alleged VIP paedophile ring.

Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe was Met Commissioner for five and a half years

The inquiry was launched following claims made by an alleged fantasist who told detectives a group of high profile figures had raped, abused and even murdered young boys in the 1970s and 1980s.

Convinced by the claims, Scotland Yard mounted dawn raids on the homes of a number of prominent figures including Lord Bramall, the former head of the army, Lord Brittan, the former Home Secretary and Harvey Proctor, the former MP.

After traducing the reputations of those accused, the investigation closed without a single arrest.

The complainant in the case, who is known only as Nick, is waiting to see if he will be charged with fraud and perverting the course of justice, following an investigation carried out by Northumbria Police.

Lord Bramall was awarded £100,000 in compensation following the police raid on his home

Last month the Metropolitan Police awarded Lord Bramall and Lord Brittan’s widow, Lady Brittan, £100,000 in compensation.

Mr Proctor, who lost his home and his job as a result of Operation Midland, is seeking at least £500,000 in damages, but the force has so far refused to settle his claim.

Last night he expressed his anger at the announcement.

He said: “I think Sir Bernard should not take his seat until he honours the commitment he gave before he left office, to compensate all those affected by Operation Midland.

“If I was him I would not feel comfortable sitting in the House of Lords, while I continue to sit in my shed.”

Former Tory MP Harvey Proctor lost his home and job as a result of Operation Midland Credit: Paul Grover

Lord Hogan-Howe’s tenure is also likely to be remembered for Operation Elveden, the lengthy probe into allegations that journalists were paying public figures for stories.

More than 30 journalists were arrested and charged during the £20 million investigation, but all were eventually cleared of any wrongdoing.

Lord Hogan-Howe also ordered a £150,000 investigation in order to identify the source of a leak regarding the infamous Plebgate scandal in which Tory Chief Whip Andrew Mitchell was accused of referring to a Downing Street police officer as a Pleb.

Lord Hogan-Howe will sit on the crossbenches in the House of Lords Credit: AFP

But in his final speech before retirement he passionately defended his time in post, describing his five and a half years as having been spent in a "restless search for ways to stay ahead of criminals".

He said under his leadership, Scotland Yard had adopted the values of "courage, compassion and integrity" and had championed the needs of the weak and vulnerable without fear or favour.

Lord Hogan-Howe will be joined on the cross benches by the former chief of the defence staff, General Sir Nicholas Houghton, the former lord chief justice Sir Ian Duncan Burnett, the former bishop of London, the Rt Rev  Richard Chartres, and the former private secretary to the Queen, Sir Christopher Geidt.

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